Despite the fact that I was born and raised in Miami, Fl, which is one of the nations largest cities, I seem to have a fascination with agriculture. More specifically, I have an obsession with antique agricultural equipment and farming implements. Maybe it’s the fact that the closest I ever came to a farm growing up was the produce department at the nearby grocery store and that makes farming udder-ly (see what I did there? ) exotic to me. Whatever the reason, I can’t get enough of old agricultural equipment, so a trip to the Ward O’Hara Agricultural Museum was just what I needed to get my farming fix.
Featuring a look into the life of a rural farmer in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the Ward O’Hara Agricultural Museum offers a comprehensive perspective. The museum’s founder, local farmer and tractor dealer Mr. O’hara, began the museum with his own vast and personal collection of historical equipment that was found across the region.
Since the museum’s opening, the collection has expanded from a single building to several enclosed galleries as well as an outdoor herb garden. The buildings include a mixture of original agricultural equipment and farming implements as well as some models.
Perhaps the most impressive though, are the vignettes that are built throughout the agricultural museum that take you beyond just farm life and showcase all the aspects of rural living.
The displays include a blacksmith’s shop, school house, dairy farm, and the interior of a 19th century kitchen.
It was fascinating to wander through the Ward O’Hara Agricultural Museum and see what it was like to live life at the turn of the century. Many of the display pieces can be touched, which gives you a hands on experience that many museums lack. Additionally, the museum is staffed with volunteers, many of which are farmers themselves, that can give you a first hand look at how the various tools and equipment were used.
The Agricultural Museum is definitely worth a visit if you are anywhere near the Auburn, NY area and are interested in farming and antiques. Admission to the museum is free, although donations are greatly appreciated, and you should plan on spending 1 – 2 hours in the museum.
Details for the Ward O’Hara Agriculture Museum in Auburn, NY
6880 East Lake Rd.
Auburn, New York 13021